<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego https://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usSat, 18 Nov 2017 00:26:41 -0800Sat, 18 Nov 2017 00:26:41 -0800NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Nanny of Toddler Abandoned at Encinitas Store Arrested]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:57:59 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Michael%27s+Encinitas.png

The nanny of a 2-year-old boy abandoned at a craft store in Encinitas has been arrested for child endangerment, investigators confirmed Friday.

Carlsbad resident Desirae Harris, 42, was arrested and booked into jail on one count of felony child endangerment, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) said. Her bail was set at $100,000; a public information officer confirmed Friday morning that Harris had posted that bail and was out of jail. She is scheduled to appear in a Vista courtroom on Dec. 1.

Detectives said Harris is the tot’s caregiver but details surrounding why she allegedly left him alone in the store remain unknown. The investigation is ongoing, the SDSO said.

On Thursday, just before noon, the little boy – who told deputies his name was Connor – was discovered wandering around the store by employees and customers. Employees searched the store for Connor’s parents, made announcements on the loudspeaker, and searched the parking lot and surrounding businesses.

The parents weren’t there. Connor was alone.

Deputies were called to the store and, after a thorough search of their own confirmed the child had been left behind.

According to a message posted on a neighborhood social media website by a crime prevention specialist with the SDSO, the toddler had come into the Michael’s store with a woman. The woman and Connor walked around the business and, eventually, the woman walked out by herself, leaving the boy behind.

The SDSO’s helicopter was used to make announcements over the neighborhood in search of Connor’s parents.

The toddler – who appeared to be in good health – was taken into protective custody by Child Welfare Services at the Polinsky Children’s Center, a facility in Kearny Mesa used as a temporary emergency shelter for children separated from their families.

The SDSO released a photo of Connor to the public and asked for help locating his parents. A few hours later, the boy was reunited with his parents. Investigators said his parents were not suspects in the abandonment case.

NBC 7 tried to reach out to Connor's family Friday but SDSO officials said the parents have requested privacy at this time. No further details were released.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Third Member of Local Family Dies After Suspected DUI Crash]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 23:04:59 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Latulippe+family.jpg

A third member of a Valley Center family died Friday as the result of a suspected drunk-driving crash, leaving their 10-year-old daughter the only remaining survivor.

The Latulippe's were wrapping up a vacation in Texas last Saturday, headed to the airport in Austin, when an alleged intoxicated driver crashed into their small rental car head-on.

Nancy Latulippe and her son Jackson died on impact.

Her husband Scott Latulippe was hospitalized in critical condition. He was taken off life support Friday.

The family’s youngest member, 10-year-old Kiera is now left coping with the loss of her entire family, but the Valley Center community is rallying around her.

"Always know that you have love all around you," Valley Center resident Angel Robles told NBC 7 in a message to Kiera. "That it’s going to be a tough, tough challenge but there are a lot of people out there that will always be there for you and will always try for you."

In the neighborhood leading up to Valley Center High School (VCHS), where Scott was a teacher and Jackson was a freshman, white ribbons were tied to mailboxes and light posts. A giant sign read "Valley Center loves Kiera" and "Stay Strong."

A community rally was held VHCS at 9 p.m. Friday for students and community members who wished to hear and share memories of the Latulippe family.

"It's incredible how amazing of a person (Scott) was, and how much of an impact he made in not just my life but in Valley Center's life," former VCHS student Thomas Gillian said.

Kiera was escorted to the field by the captains of the teams during the pre-game Friday night, which began with a moment of silence and a prayer circle. She returned to San Diego Thursday night. 

During a phone call with NBC 7, Nancy's father said he wants something good to come out of this loss. He wants everyone to think about the amount of pain they are going through as a family and community and to not drink and drive.

California Highway Patrol officer in San Diego Jim Bettencourt had the message:

"Please don’t ever drink and drive. Please support this family," Bettencourt wrote on Twitter with a link to a GoFundMe page established to gather funds for Kiera's future. 

The Valley Center Real Estate Professionals have also set up a PayPal account

Photo Credit: GoFundMe]]>
<![CDATA[100 Young Immigrants Become New Americans in Ceremony]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 16:57:45 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/naturalization+ceremony.PNG

Young immigrants from around the world took the oath to become the country’s newest Americans in a naturalization ceremony in San Diego Friday.

About 100 youth from 25 different countries — the youngest only 1 year old — took the Oath of Allegiance at Liberty Station’s New Americans Museum and with that, became naturalized citizens of the United States.

Parents proudly looked on from the back of museum as a representative from the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USICS) presented their children with citizenship certificates.

“When you look at the parents, they are so emotional; they are so touched by this,” Linda Sotelo, the museum’s Executive Director said. “They are thinking, 'All the sacrifices (I) made to come to a new country and build a new life, it’s going to resonate and it’s going to be manifested in my kids.'”

Friday’s ceremony was held for children who obtained their citizenship through their parents, according to USICS spokesperson Maria Elena Upson. Some were adopted and others obtained citizenship when their immigrant parents became naturalized citizens.

“I feel proud that I am finally able to live in this country as a citizen and be able to fulfill what my parents wanted me to do when I came here,” said new American Nathan Buturla, who was originally from Canada. “It’s just been a good day.”

The ceremony is the first step in a world of possibilities for the new Americans.

“It’s connected to the next step in democracy for them,” Sotelo said. “It’s a serious moment but they are going to look back at this and think what a special thing it was.” 

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Issa Defends Maverick Vote on Republicans’ Tax Plan]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:00:45 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/069.JPG

After last year's close race to keep his Congressional seat, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-49th District) is vigorously defending his vote against his party's tax plan.

Issa was one of two Southern California Republicans to join all House Democrats in rejecting the plan.  

Hillary Clinton got more votes than Donald Trump did in Issa's 49th District last year.

Issa also notes that eight of the ten people who voted for her voted for him too.

He says that what might look like a good deal in other states wouldn't add up to that in much of California.

"On the average, it reduced taxes,"  he acknowledged in an interview Friday. "But if you’re not average and your taxes go up, you’re asking 'How did Issa let that happen?' And I said it wasn’t going to happen on my watch, and I’ll do what I can to stop it."

The House bill would eliminate the deduction for income and sales taxes, and cap property tax deductions at $10,000.

It also would lower the cap on the mortgage interest deduction from a million dollars to $500,000.

More than 70 percent of the homes in Issa's district are priced at half a million.

Tax analysts say California is one of several states whose residents are likely to see their federal income taxes go up.

And, that by 2022, those residents would pay $17 billion more in personal income taxes...while residents in the other states would get $100 billion in tax cuts.

"I received tens of thousands of calls and emails asking me not to vote for this tax bill. And many, many, many of them had noted that it's a tax increase on a lot of my constituents," Issa said. "I made it clear to my leadership that I would vote for a tax cut. But I had never voted for a tax increase. And just because Republicans had authored it, I wasn't going to vote the increased taxes on my constituents."

The current Senate tax bill calls for maintaining the mortgage interest deduction, instead of cutting it in half as the House plan does.

But it enforces deeper cuts to state and local tax breaks.

<![CDATA[Abducted New York Girl Found in San Diego]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 23:16:46 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/new+york+mother+arrested.JPG

A child believed to be abducted by her mother from Rochester, New York--who does not have custody of her daughter--was found in San Diego Friday night.

Rene Stong, 32, was taken into custody at a Motel 6 in Little Italy. Her daughter, 5-year-old Laylani Ortiz, was also found safe. 

According to the Rochester Police Department (RPD), Stong picked up her daughter from school on Wednesday at around 4 p.m. NBC affiliate WHEC News 10 reported that Stong took the girl off the school bus, according to Laylani’s family, which she was not authorized to do.

When the girl didn’t come home from school, her family called the police. The RPD identified Stong as a possible suspect in the girl’s disappearance and thought she might return to her home in Rochester with the child.

That did not happen.

The girl’s family told WHEC News 10 that Stong took an Uber to Laylani’s school. After taking her off the bus Stong and the child took the Uber to the Greater Rochester International Airport (GRIA).

There, Stong bought plane tickets and left the state with Laylani, flying to Detroit and then San Diego Thursday morning. The RPD said an Amber Alert was not immediately issued in this case, as investigators did not believe Laylani was at risk of injury or death.

RPD investigators believed the mother and child are in Southern California. Officials were working with law enforcement agencies in the region to find them, including the FBI, Rochester officials told NBC 7. 

The family told WHEC News 10 that United States Customs and Border Protection was aware of the abduction, in case Stong tried to cross the border from San Diego into Mexico. The family said the girl’s father was not involved, as he is currently serving time in a Florida jail.

NBC 7 has reached out to local law enforcement agencies earlier Friday. The San Diego Police Department and San Diego County Sheriff's Department are not involved in the investigation.

Officials with FBI San Diego confirmed the agency was assisting the RPD with the case.

Stong will be taken to the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility to await a possible extradition.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Things to Do This Weekend: Nov. 16-19]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:43:46 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Garske-San-Diego-Skyline-022017-2.JPG

TGI Weekend! An epic food festival, another weekend at the track, ice skating, movies and more -- this is your weekend, San Diego. Get up. Get out. Play! 

Thursday, Nov. 16

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival
Times and Locations Vary
It’s time to wine and dine, San Diego: the 14th annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival (SDBWFF) is underway through Sunday, showcasing our thriving local food scene and culinary talent through a series of events across the city including tastings, workshops and special dinners. One of Thursday’s highlights is “Wine and Music,” a 10:45 a.m. seminar at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina led by winemaker Clark Smith who will explore the impact that music has on the taste of wine. SDBWFF’s biggest event is The Grand Tasting, a foodie affair that goes down Saturday; scroll down to the Saturday section for details.

Bing Crosby Season
11 a.m., Del Mar Racetrack
Bust out those fancy hats: Bing Crosby Season continues at the Del Mar Racetrack, with eight horse races happening Thursday, and more action Friday through Sunday. The gates open at 11 a.m.; first post is at 12:30 p.m. Bing Crosby Season runs through Nov. 26. Stretch Run admission costs $6.

Garfield High School Thanksgiving Luncheon
11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., The Prado Ballroom
For the 20th year, the Cohn Restaurant Group will co-host the Garfield High School Thanksgiving Luncheon, a fundraising event to benefit the Garfield High School Foundation’s Culinary Arts Program, which gives at-risk youth the chance to learn restaurant industry skills. David and Lesley Cohn will donate all of the food for this event, plus the venue – the landmark Prado restaurant’s ballroom in Balboa Park. Nearly 360 patrons will enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with all of the fixings prepared and served by students of the school’s Culinary Arts Program, executed to the standards of the Cohn Restaurant Group, and led by The Prado executive chef Jonathan Hale. Tickets cost $60 at the door; RSVP to Tina Tomaschke at (619) 742-2476. All proceeds benefit the Garfield High School Foundation and its ongoing educational programs. Over the past two decades, the Cohns have helped raise more than $500,000 for the foundation’s Culinary Arts Program.

Pet Therapy
1 p.m. to 2 p.m., San Diego Museum of Man
Therapy animals – even little critters like rabbits, guinea pigs and rats – can change lives. In this live demo at the San Diego Museum of Man, visitors will get to spend some time with small therapy animals who visit people in need. The event is included in general admission to the museum, which costs $13 for adults and $6 for children ages 3 to 12. While you’re there, check out the “Living with Animals” exhibition, dedicated to the animals who fill our daily lives with laughs and love.

San Diego Asian Film Festival
Times and Locations Vary
The 18th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival (SDAFF) continues its run, showcasing the largest exhibition of Asian American cinema in the western U.S. – from future classics to independent films. This year, more than 150 films from 20 countries will be screened during the festival, which runs through Nov. 18. The screenings take place at six venues across San Diego: UltraStar Mission Valley; San Diego Natural History Museum (Kaplan Theater); UC San Diego Price Center Theater; Marriott Mission Valley; Digital Gym Cinema; Museum of Photographic Arts. Tickets to individual screenings cost around $12, or you can buy a 6-pack of tickets for $60, which can be used for all screenings except for opening and closing night films.

Latin Thursdays
9 p.m., Harrah’s Resort Southern California
Enjoy live Latin music at Harrah’s Resort Southern California every Thursday night this month at this 21+ fiesta. The shows cost $10 and are available at the door.

Friday, Nov. 17

St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center 4th Annual Golf Tournament
9:30 a.m., Sycuan Resort
St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC) (http://stmsc.org/), a facility in El Cajon that helps people with developmental disabilities, will host its 4th annual golf tournament fundraiser Friday at Sycuan Resort (Pine Glen – Par 3 Executive Golf Course). A $100 donation gets you a round of golf, lunch, a Happy Hour reception and a gift bag. The holiday-inspired theme of this year’s tourney is “Swing with Santa.” Golfers can register in advance on the SMSC website.

Santee’s Holiday Lighting Celebration
5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Santee Trolley Square
Celebrate the season in Santee at the community’s annual Holiday Lighting Celebration. The free, family-friendly event includes live music by the Bayou Brothers on the Cal Coast Credit Union Stage at 5:30 p.m., followed by a tree lighting ceremony at 6:15 p.m. In between, there will be free holiday crafts and activities, including snow sledding, a petting zoo, mini train rides, face painting and carolers, plus food and drinks for sale. Kids can also take a photo with Santa ($12 to $20). Parking is limited, so you may want to use the trolley’s Green Line, which drops off passengers right inside Santee Trolley Square.

Salsa Under the Stars
6 p.m. to 9 p.m., The Headquarters at Seaport
Hit the courtyard at The Headquarters at Seaport for this Friday night salsa dancing session under the stars. Manny Cepeda and his orchestra will provide the toe-tapping tunes; no partner or experience necessary to join this fun, free event.

'Exquisite Views' Opening Reception
6 p.m. to 8 p.m., San Diego History Center
The San Diego History Center will debut “Exquisite Views,” its first exhibition dedicated to its permanent rich fine art collection. The opening reception is free to History Center members and the public and will include appetizers and drinks. An RSVP is required by calling (619) 232-6203, ext. 111 or via email to membership@sandiegohistory.org.

San Diego Gulls vs. Tucson Roadrunners
7 p.m., Valley View Casino Center
The San Diego Gulls take on the Tucson Roadrunners at this Friday night home game. The puck drops at 7 p.m.; tickets start at $22.

Heather McDonald
7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., The American Comedy Co.
Comic, writer and actress Heather McDonald headlines at The American Comedy Co. this weekend, performing her stand-up act twice on both Friday and Saturday night. Tickets are $20, or you can spring for a $50 VIP ticket that includes preferred seating and a meet-and-greet with McDonald.

Mozart’s Requiem
8 p.m., Copley Symphony Hall
Conductor Markus Stenz returns to Copley Symphony Hall this weekend to helm Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s final masterpiece, his “Requiem,” known for its moving choral tapestry, flute, oboes and French horns. The concert features the talents of soprano Jessica Rivera, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano, tenor Colin Balzer, bass Adam Lau and the San Diego Master Chorale. Tickets range from $25 to $72; the concert plays again at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Saturday, Nov. 18

Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary School’s 42nd Annual Craft Fair
9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary School
A long-standing tradition at Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary School (4133 Mt. Albertine Ave.), this PTA Craft Fair will boast home décor, jewelry, woodwork, candles and other homemade gifts that might be perfect for your holiday shopping list. Admission and parking is free.

Guided Nature Walk
9:30 a.m., Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center
Join a trail guide from Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) on this free, 1.5-hour nature walk and learn about the plants, animals, geology, history and geology of the park. The walk begins at the Visitor Center and will head out to one of three scenic trails: The Oak Grove Loop, The Visitor Center Loop, or The Riverside Grinding Rocks. These walks are typically held at MTRP every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. Wear close-toed shoes and sunscreen, and bring water.

Kombucha Workshop
10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., The Homebrewer
Why pay $4 a pint for kombucha when you can learn to make it yourself? This workshop at The Homebrewer (2911 El Cajon Blvd., Suite 2) will teach students the ins and outs of safely making the popular fermented tea beverage at home. Students will make their own bottle of kombucha to take home and will also take home a kit for recreating the process themselves. During the workshop, samples of seasonal kombuchas will be served. The class, plus the take-home kit, costs $90; without the kit, the class is $50.

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival: The Grand Tasting
12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Embarcadero Marina Park North
If you attend only one San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival event this year make it this – the big finale, also known as The Grand Tasting. The foodie-focused affair will boast 150 wine, spirit and beer purveyors pouring more than 700 sips from around the globe, plus 60 of San Diego’s top chefs whipping up their finest fare. The "Chef of the Fest" competition will determine the best of the best, with one winning chef walking away with up to $50,000 in cash and prizes. Attendees will also enjoy samples from more than 30 gourmet food companies, plus live entertainment. General admission tickets cost $135; designated driver tickets, sans alcohol, are available for $85. NBC 7 will be there to bring you a glimpse of the sights, sips, sounds and snacks that make this annual event one for the books.

The Art of Jeremy Salazar and LX Lewis
1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Harrah’s Resort Southern California
Harrah’s Resort SoCal highlights two Native American artists – contemporary portraiture artist Jeremy Salazar and master woodcarver LX Lewis – with this free gallery exhibit at the second floor South Tower. Works from the artists will be on display every Saturday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., starting Nov. 18 through Dec. 2. Proceeds from art purchased by visitors will benefit the California Tribal College.

Engineering Craft Beer: The Brewing Process
2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., Border X Brewing
Part of The Fleet Science Center’s “52 Weeks of Science” series, this event takes curious craft beer enthusiasts over to Border X Brewing in Barrio Logan for the second part of a three-part series focused on engineering beer. In this workshop, students (age 21 and up) will learn the stages of combining water, grains, oil and resins with gravity in the brewing process. The event is free.

Reggae Fest With Iration
After the Final Race, Del Mar Racetrack
After Del Mar’s final horse race of the day, head over to the Seaside Stage for Reggae Fest featuring a performance by Simpkin Project, followed by headliner Iration. The 18+ concert is free with paid general Stretch Run admission to the track, which costs $6.

San Diego Gulls vs. Tucson Roadrunners
7 p.m., Valley View Casino Center
Back-to-Back home hockey games? We’ll take it! The San Diego Gulls once again take on the Tucson Roadrunners Saturday night at the Valley View Casino Center. Tickets start at $22.

San Diego State Aztecs vs. Nevada Wolf Pack
7:30 p.m., SDCCU Stadium
Cheer on the SDSU Aztecs Saturday night as they battle the Nevada Wolf Pack on the gridiron at SDCCU Stadium. Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.; tickets start at $16, but these games have been known to sell out, so think ahead. 

Sunday, Nov. 19

Take a Holiday Breath Yoga Series
10:30 a.m., Hotel Del Coronado
This weekly yoga series at the Hotel Del Coronado invites yogis to slow down and take a breath amid the busy holiday season. Classes are held on The Del’s Windsor Lawn, overlooking the water, so dress for a cooler seaside session and bring your own mat. Classes cost $20 and proceeds from this holiday yoga series will support OG Yoga, a San Diego-based project that brings yoga to underserved communities. The class returns on Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17.

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m., The Old Globe
One of San Diego's favorite holiday traditions, now in its 20th year at The Old Globe, runs through Christmas Eve, with several performances on the weekends. The whimsical characters and stories from the classic Dr. Seuss book jump off the page and onto the stage in “Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” featuring songs like “This Time of Year” and “Fah Who Doraze.” Tickets start at $37 for adults and $24 for children.

Beauty or Torture: Society’s Demand of Perfection Examined
12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Women’s Museum of California
This exhibition at the Women’s Museum of California at Liberty Station explores the timeless quest for beauty and the lengths women have gone to over the centuries to alter their looks to conform to society’s beauty standards of the time. The exhibition takes a look at weird beauty trends and how routines weren’t always pretty. Admission is $5. “Beauty or Torture: Society’s Demand of Perfection Examined,” is on display at the museum through Jan. 28, 2018. 

Live Music Sundays: Manny Cepeda Orchestra
12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Liberty Public Market
Take in some tunes performed by the Manny Cepeda Orchestra Duo on Sunday at Liberty Public Market. The free concert is a great way to enjoy your lunch after you’ve purchased some goodies at the market.

SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical
2 p.m. and 7 p.m., La Jolla Playhouse
The world-premiere production of “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical” continues its run at the La Jolla Playhouse this weekend. The musical, put together in part by the director (Des McAnnuff) and choreographer (Sergio Trujillo) that worked on “Jersey Boys,” follows the life of the singer from her modest Boston childhood to her rise as the Queen of Disco. The show is led by a Tony Award-winning actress, a former “Hamilton” star and a local San Diego favorite. Tickets start at $80, and if you’re considering attending, you may want to act fast: tickets have been selling out quickly for all performances of this musical. The musical runs until Dec. 17.

West African Dance Class
2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., The World Beat Center
Join this West African Dance class – complete with live drumming – at The World Beat Center (2100 Park Blvd.) at Balboa Park, led by Makida Anderson. The high energy, poly-rhythmic dance style is a great full-body workout. The class costs $12.

El Cajon Music Masters Barber Shop Chorus
3 p.m., Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center Theater
This free, one-hour concert presented by the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation will feature a performance by the El Cajon Music Masters Barber Shop Chorus. The show will be held at the Visitor Center Theater; seating is limited, so arrive a little early.

Il Trovatore
3 p.m., California Center for the Arts Escondido
The Pacific Lyric Association presents “Il Trovatore,” an abridged version of the tale of love and vengeance set in 15th Century Spain. The show features profession opera soloists and a chorus singing in Italian, with the storyline narrated in English. Tickets cost $35; the show returns to the California Center for the Arts in Escondido for another round on Nov. 26.

Succulent Wreaths Workshop
4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Culture Brewing Co.
Get crafty while enjoying some craft brews at this workshop at Culture Brewing Co. (111 South Cedros Ave., Suite 200) in Solana Beach focused on making succulent wreaths perfect for the holiday season. A $35 ticket gets you two pints of Culture craft beer and all of the supplies needed to create one wreath. Instructors will also share tips on how to keep succulents looking fresh for months to come. All ages are welcome to partake in the workshop, but you must be 21 and up to enjoy the brews; kid-friendly beverages will be available upon request.

Global Winter Wonderland: 'Circus of Light'
4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., SDCCU Stadium
This 17-acre holiday festival, which hails from Sacramento, California, makes its way to San Diego for the first time ever this season, setting up at SDCCU Stadium from Nov. 19 through Jan. 7, 2018. The family-friendly international celebration features the largest display of traditional Chinese lanterns outside of China, plus acrobatics performances, carnival rides, holiday-themed activities, games, food and shopping. The little ones can even write letters to Santa Claus and visit sections like Toyland, Candyland and the North Pole. Global Winter Wonderland will open daily at either 4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m., but is closed on some days. Check this calendar for exact dates and times to plan your visit. Tickets cost $22 for adults and $19 for kids ages 4 to 12 or senior citizens age 62 and older. Kids 3 and under get in free.

Free or Cheap Things to Do in San Diego
Times and locations vary

Looking to save some cash, but still enjoy the city? In San Diego, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy for free or on the cheap. Go for a hike at Torrey Pines State Park or Cowles Mountain, stroll Balboa Park, try a new craft brewery, admire the murals of Chicano Park or read a book at a downtown park. Get out there and explore America’s Finest City.

Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
<![CDATA[Thanksgiving Day Dining at Local Landmarks]]> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:48:29 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/The-Prado-Restaurant-Facebook.jpg

There's so much for which to be thankful. On Thanksgiving Day, give thanks for San Diego's beautiful landmarks and good food and treat yourself to a feast at one of our city's most recognizable places. Here's what's cooking.

The Prado at Balboa Park
(1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101)
Give thanks on Nov. 23 at The Prado in the heart of Balboa Park. This year, the iconic restaurant will serve a Thanksgiving feast from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The special three-course holiday menu includes items like Roasted Carrot & Harissa Soup, Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast and Pumpkin Pie Brulee, to name a few choices. A kid’s menu is also available. The meal is priced at $54.95 for adults and $13.95 for kids age 12 and under. Make reservations ahead of time by calling (619) 557-9441.

Hotel del Coronado
(1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, CA 92118)
The Del’s oceanfront Ballroom and Crown Room will each offer Thanksgiving Day dining options, from 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The buffet includes all of the trimmings, set to live musical entertainment. To give you a tiny taste of what's on the table, the menu features Roasted Sweet Potato Soup, Cheese + Charcuterie, fresh seafood including shucked oysters, king crab legs, ahi, salmon and more. There will also be a meat station with lots of sides, a turkey station with all of the Thanksgiving trimmings, and a station filled with sweet treats including pies, cheesecake, and pastries galore.

Dinner in the Ballroom costs $125 for adults, $50 for kids ages 6 to 10 and free for kids 5 and under. Dinner in the Crown Room costs $140 for adults, $50 for kids ages 6 to 10 and free for kids 5 and under. Make reservations in advance by calling (619) 522-8490. The hotel’s other restaurants – 1500 OCEAN and Sheerwater – will also offer seasonal menus on Thanksgiving Day.

The Headquarters at Seaport
(789 W. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101)
The Headquarters at Seaport – the historic site that formerly housed the headquarters of the San Diego Police Department – is now a marketplace filled with specialty shops and restaurants. On Thanksgiving Day, a couple of the complex's anchor eateries will be open: Eddie V's Prime Seafood and Seasons 52.

Eddie V’s – which sits on the very site where the San Diego courthouse once stood – invites patrons to celebrate Thanksgiving without lifting a finger. The elegant eatery will serve a pre-set traditional holiday feast from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. that includes sliced turkey breast, brioche sage stuffing and hand-whipped potatoes. The meal is priced at $39 for adults and $15 for kids. Make reservations online or by calling (619) 615-0281.

Seasons 52 will also offer a pre-set Thanksgiving meal, which includes roasted turkey, Yukon mashed potatoes, herb stuffing and other tasty trimmings. For dessert, the eatery is whipping up pumpkin pie. The feast is priced at $27.90 for adults and $12.90 for a child's portion. Make reservations online or by calling (619) 702-0052.


Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
(2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014)
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s Bing Crosby Season wraps up on Thanksgiving weekend so what better time for horse racing fans to dine at the track? The Turf Club at Del Mar will serve a 3-course Thanksgiving Brunch that includes bottomless "Del Marys," mimosas or champagne.

A $100 dining package ticket gets you Turf Club admission and a table for the race day, plus the holiday meal. Children 17 and under get into the Turf Club for free with an adult; their meals can be ordered from the regular dining menu. Reservations can be made ahead of time online. Remember, The Turf Club has a dress code.

(326 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101)
The Grant Grill, located inside the historic US GRANT hotel in downtown San Diego, plans to offer two Thanksgiving Day dining options: a four-course turkey dinner, available from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., or a fancy buffet, available from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., boasting seasonal dishes including turkey, stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes and housemade desserts.

The feast is paired with live music in the hotel’s Presidential Ballroom. Reservations are required; call (619) 744-2046 or (619) 744-2077. The four-course dinner costs $97 per person (or $140 with wine pairings), while the buffet costs $97 for adults, $87 for seniors, and $39 for children.

The Westgate
(1055 2nd Ave. San Diego, CA 92101)
Downtown San Diego's well-known hotel, The Westgate, will also offer two dining options on Thanksgiving Day: a four-course, prix fixe menu in the Westgate Room featuring soup, salad, a main course choice of turkey, beef or salmon, and dessert, or a holiday buffet over in the Le Fontainebleau Room featuring a charcuterie and cheese station, salad, appetizers, sushi, seafood, turkey, a carving station, desserts and more.

Seating for dining in the Westgate Room begins at 11 a.m., while seating for the buffet is available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The coursed meal costs $69 for adults and $40 for children ages 4 to 12. The buffet -- which also includes live music -- is priced at $89 for adults and $40 for children ages 4 to 12. Kids under 3 can dine for free. Seating is limited so make reservations by calling (619) 238-1818.

Mister A’s
(2550 5th Ave., #406, San Diego, CA 92103)
Elegant Mister A’s -- with its gorgeous views of our city -- will offer a prix-fixe menu on Thanksgiving Day that includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Choices include: Macaroni & Cheese: A’s Style, Oven Roasted Maine Lobster Tails and Pumpkin Cheesecake, to name a few options. The holiday meal is $72.50 per person. Reserve your spot by calling (619) 239-1377. If you can, snag a window seat; the view of the San Diego skyline will take your breath away and leave you feeling thankful.

Bali Hai Restaurant
(2230 Shelter Island Dr., San Diego, CA 92106)
The Bali Hai Restaurant on Shelter Island will host a Thanksgiving Day buffet with a Polynesian Flare from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 23. The mouthwatering menu includes Herb-Rubbed Turkey Breast With Rosemary Gravy and Spiced Hawaiian Ham with Ham Hock Jus, plus sides like Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Vegetable Fried Rice. For dessert, treats include all kinds of pie and pastries.

The holiday meal is priced at $48 for adults and $18 for kids ages 6 to 12. Kids 5 and under dine for free. Reservations are recommended by calling (619) 222-1181.

The Marine Room
(2000 Spindrift Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037)
For more than 75 years, this seaside staple in La Jolla has been known for its incredible views and the pounding surf that creates dramatic displays outside the restaurant’s windows. On Thanksgiving Day, The Marine Room will serve a holiday menu from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. with individually priced selections such as Rose Petal Advieh Coated Wild Prawns ($19) and Woodchuck Pear Cider Brined Turkey Breast ($41). To top off the meal, try a treat off the Thanksgiving Sweets menu which includes Five Spice Pumpkin Torte and Orangecello Crème Brulée ($14 for each dessert). Make reservations online or by calling (866) 644-2351.

Tom Ham’s Lighthouse
(2150 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92101)
One of San Diego’s best-known architectural landmarks on San Diego Bay (aka Beacon No. 9 on USCG Nautical Maps, in business since 1971) will also serve a Thanksgiving Day buffet with a host of scrumptious eats served against picturesque vistas of the bay, the downtown skyline and Coronado Island.

The spread includes a seafood bar, a carving station with free-range turkey and beef brisket, starters and sides, entrées like ham, salmon and mac 'n' cheese, and lots of desserts. The holiday buffet costs $48 for adults and $18 for kids ages 6 to 12; kids 5 and under can dine for free. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m., with the last seating at 6 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended; call (619) 291-9110.


Photo Credit: The Prado/Emilio Azevedo Photography/Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect in Imperial Beach Fatal Shooting Arrested]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:56:23 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/11-14-17+Imperial+Beach+Shooting.JPG

A man wanted in connection with a homicide investigation in Imperial Beach was arrested Friday in University City.

Osvaldo Lopez, 35, was arrested in the 9000 block of Towne Center Drive without incident, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO) confirmed.

Lopez is suspected of shooting and killed 30-year-old Ricardo Sales at Donax Avenue and Florence Street Tuesday evening.

According to SDSO, Sales suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died at the scene.

His death of ruled a homicide by the Medical Examiner's office.

SDSO said the investigation led them to Lopez. He was booked into the San Diego Central Jail on a single count of murder and is being held without bail.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Detail at (858)974-2321 or Crime Stoppers at (858)580-8477.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Homeless Advocates to Feed the Needy After Ban in El Cajon]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:31:46 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Wells+Park+Trash.jpg

Homeless advocates are planning an act of defiance this weekend after El Cajon banned feeding those in need in city parks.

Signs are now posted at Wells Park saying there's an ordinance in place banning any form of feeding the homeless unless you have proper permits.

The city told NBC 7 it's a move to try to stop the spread of Hepatitis A, but homeless advocates are not buying it.

A homeless advocate group plans to test the ban with a huge feeding event Sunday at the park.

"They're kind of throwaway people for a lot of our society and we don't want to see them. But we need to see them. We need to address any acts that criminalize them," said Mark Layne, an activist for the homeless.

Layne spearheading an event Sunday in resistance to El Cajon's recent ban on feeding homeless in public parks.

The city has dealt with some pushback since putting the ordinance in place.

Councilmembers want to make it clear it's not a ban on feeding the homeless, just solely in public parks.

"What we're saying is feeding them at city parks is a bad idea given the situation that we're in with the Hepatitis A outbreak and the fact that it makes the place completely messy afterwards," said El Cajon City Councilmember, Ben Kalasho.

Councilmember Kalasho encouraged to buy gift cards for the homeless to use at area restaurants instead of this act of defiance.

The group, however, is charging forward with their own plan on Sunday, handing out lunches and toiletries to anyone in need. 

The city told NBC 7 another reason the ban was put in place is because as many as 10 mass feedings for the homeless were happening at Wells Park each month, and trash was being left all over. The city had to pay thousands of dollars for crews to clean it up. 

Police will be on hand for the protest, but it's unclear if anyone will be ticketed for breaking the law, the city said.

The latest numbers show El Cajon has close to 700 people living on the streets.

<![CDATA[Local Warehouse Spaces Struggle to Comply With Safety Codes]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:07:22 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Barrio_Logan_Parkour_Gym_Lacked_Proper_Permits.jpg

A platform and stairwell collapse in a parkour gym at a Barrio Logan building is bringing attention to the city's other warehouse spaces that are struggling to meet the city's safety codes.

About 50 kids attending an event called "Kids Night Out" ran at the same time to an upper-level area of Vault PK when they were told it was time to eat pizza. That’s when a 20-by-30-foot wooden deck and stairwell collapsed.

Twenty-one children and two adults were injured and taken to local hospitals with moderate and minor injuries.

Naily Rodriguez, 16, was still in the hospital Friday, her family said. She suffered a broken pelvis in three places. Her mother has a broken leg and broker has a cut on his foot.

The family has hired a lawyer who said the owner of the gym was not responding to their requests.

On Thursday, Notice of Violation filed Thursday by city inspectors revealed the property did not have required emergency exits and exit signs throughout the building.

City inspectors also found that many construction improvements inside the building were done without permits and the required inspections. Those unpermitted uses included improperly constructed walls, stairs, partitions, restrooms, locker rooms and offices.

The building is owned by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and the company was cited for the violations.

"We are doing everything necessary to make sure this doesn't happen again," said Rob Schupp of MTS. "The easiest way to do that with MTS is to start eviction termination of leases and fix those things structurally with the building.

But some warehouse spaces in the neighborhood that house restaurants, breweries, and art galleries say complying with city safety codes is difficult.

La Bodega Art Gallery is updating bathrooms and heating facilities but said it is costing tens of thousands of dollars. The gallery was approached by the city of San Diego last year after the deadly Ghost Ship fire in Oakland that killed 36 people.

The gallery said it is working hard to conserve the space for artists and their work.

Another artist collective in the area, Glashaus, recently shut down because it tried but could not comply with city codes.

<![CDATA[I-5 Southbound Lanes Close Over the Weekend]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:12:37 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DETOUR-SIGN.jpg

All Southbound lanes on Interstate 5 will be closed from Interstate 805 for maintenance at the end of the weekend.

Caltrans crew will perform bridge maintenance from the I-805 merge to La Jolla Village Drive, causing all southbound lanes on I-5 to close Sunday and Monday between 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Crews will work on Gilman Drive and Sorrento Valley Viaduct Bridge. Pavement work will take place on the main lanes of I-5, according to Caltrans.

All motorists will be detoured to southbound I-805, to westbound State Route 52, to SR-52/I-5 interchange.

Caltrans reminds drivers to Be Work Zone Alert by avoiding distracted driving, paying constant attention to traffic and slowing down when approaching work zones.

Photo Credit: NBC ]]>
<![CDATA[High School Students Win SD Design Challenge]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:19:08 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_376878198580.jpg

Three high school students won the top prize of $5,000 in a city-wide design challenge to solve San Diego transportation issues.

The Design for San Diego 2017 Civic Challenge asked participants to tackle an issue in San Diego related to commuter experience, accessibility, biking and walking, or autonomous vehicles, according to the D4SD website. The three high school students won the challenge against professional, college and college graduate-level competitors.

“Most of the teams were business professionals,” said D.J. Nelson, a high school freshman on the team. “They were there because it was their job. I did it for the experience of using design thinking.”

The team, Cycle Detection, consisted of Nelson, a ninth grader at Francis Parker School, tenth grader James Maron and eleventh grader Savera Soin, both of Canyon Crest Academy. They were asked to provide a solution to making bicycles more visible to cars in the future.

Their team designed wireless transponders that allowed bicycles and smart cars to communicate with each other, allowing cars to detect the bikes from a distance and around corners. The cars then reacted by notifying the driver on the dashboard or braking.

Participants in the D4SD competition were given one month to submit a response to the challenge issued them, and approximately 50 applications were submitted in October, according to The League of Amazing Programmers, a non-profit after-school program that teaches children and teenagers computer programming.

The League sent five teams of high schoolers to compete, which turned out to be the only high school participants in the event.

D4SD judges whittled the number of submissions to eight finalists, two of which were from high school teams sent by The League, including the grand prize winners.

“I knew the students could hold their own, but I had no idea one of the League’s five teams might win,” said Becky Deller, Director of Community Engagement for the League, in a statement. “The judges were surprised to learn the age of The League’s student entrants, and praised them for their poise and intelligence.”

The winning team will now have the opportunity to pitch their design idea directly to the city of San Diego, the San Diego Association of Governments and SCALE SD for possible implementation in the future.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Man With Rifle Prompts Officer-Involved Shooting in Bay Park]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:57:11 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Shooting-Bay-Park-111717.jpg

A man carrying a rifle and a knife, and suspected of battering his 80-year-old father, refused to surrender to San Diego police early Friday in a Bay Park neighborhood, leading to an officer-involved shooting.

San Diego Police Department (SDPD) officers were sent to a home on Arnott and Field streets south of Clairemont Drive Friday morning, for the third time this week, after a senior father asked for help in dealing with his 47-year-old son, Ken Bui.

Officers were about to knock on the front door of the reporting party's home at 8:20 a.m. when they heard what sounded like a BB gun coming from a detached garage. 

A man carrying what appeared to be a rifle and holstering a knife ran from the detached garage into a neighbor's yard. Investigators later determined the rifle was a replica firearm and the knife was a fixed blade. 

Officers formed a perimeter around the neighbor's home and attempted to negotiate a surrender verbally and used less-than-lethal bean bags. Bui refused to comply multiple times, SDPD Capt. Brian Ahearn said.

At one point, Bui exited from shrubbery and pointed the rifle at an officer on a perimeter position, Ahearn said.

That is when a seven-year veteran police officer fired two rounds from his handgun, SDPD Lt. Todd Griffin said. It's not known if the shots struck the Bui, who returned to the shrubs. 

A canine was unleashed and grabbed onto  Bui's leg. Officers moved in and tackled him, pulling him away from the rifle and the shrubs, Ahearn said. 

The man was taken into custody with what appeared to be an abrasion on his forehead. Officials have not determined what caused that injury.

Bui was booked into San Diego County jail on charges of elderly abuse and threatening a peace officer with a deadly weapon. 

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBC 7
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Practice Tryouts to be Held for Lifeguard Recruits]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:05:09 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Pacific-Beach-SD-Lifeguards-16.JPG

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) lifeguards division is hosting a practice tryout Saturday for individuals interested in joining the team.

Practice tryouts are located at 1000 West Mission Bay Drive near Bahia Belle Cruises and start 8 a.m. Saturday.

The goal is to prepare recruits for official tryouts to become seasonal lifeguards in January 2018.

“Our lifeguards performed over 7,800 rescues just this year, so we always have to be physically and mentally ready to respond to an emergency at any time,” said SDFD Life Sergeant Michael Neal.

Both the practice and official tryouts require candidates to complete a 500-meter swim in under 10 minutes.

“For those who can meet the demands of the job and become a lifeguard, I guarantee they will never have a more rewarding or unique job experience.”

There’s over 40 miles of oceanfront and shoreline to patrol and an average of 17 million visitors to local beaches, according to the City of San Diego.

Those interested in trying out at the official January tryouts are strongly encouraged to attend the practice tryouts.

Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
<![CDATA[Motorcyclist Killed in Crash in Carlsbad]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:49:25 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/carlsbad+moto+ax.PNG

A motorcyclist was killed in a crash possibly involving a semi-truck in Carlsbad Friday evening.

The crash occurred around 6:16 p.m. on the northbound Interstate 5, north of Cannon Drive, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Witnesses told NBC 7 the motorcyclist was splitting lanes when he side-swept a black car. The motorcyclist then rear-ended another car, which pushed him into the back of a semi-truck. 

All lanes on the freeway were blocked to traffic and a Sig Alert was issued for some time.

At approximately 8:30 p.m., the northbound I-5 was reopened to traffic, according to Caltrans.

No other information was available.

Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Adorable Cheetah Cub Debuts at San Diego Zoo Safari Park]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:09:19 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San+Diego+Zoo+Safari+Cheetah+Cub.jpg

There is an adorable new addition at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and she's sure to make you smile.

A 6-week-old female Cheetah cub has arrived at the park on Monday from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas, according to the San Diego Zoo Global.

She is being hand-reared by animal care staff because she was unable to compete with her siblings during nursing time due to her size and not gaining weight.

After bottle feedings began, she began to thrive, the zoo said.

According to animal care staff, the cub has a "sweet" personality and likes interacting with animal care staff.

She can be seen every day at the nursery at the Safari Park's Ione and Paul Harter Animal Care Center.

The cub will be moved to the San Deigo Zoo to become an animal ambassador after about three months.

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Convicted Killer Blasts Judge in Courtroom Outburst ]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:30:18 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Regina-Johnson-11_17_17_3.jpg

A San Diego woman lashed out at the judge as she was sentenced to 80 years for killing her husband and her daughter in the family's condo five years ago. 

"I shot him because he shot my daughter," Regina Johnson yelled out in court Friday as she was being sentenced.

Johnson does not deny she killed her 56-year-old husband, Reuben Johnson in May 2012. However, she was also convicted of shooting and killing her 14-year-old daughter, Aaliyah - something she denies.

When the judge began to impose sentence, Johnson shook her head and argued the judgment was unfair. 

"How can you sit there and say that I killed my daughter? How?" Johnson asked the judge. 

See the outburst here. 

Judge Joan P. Weber sentenced Johnson to 80 years behind bars for both murders. Before she was led out of the courtroom Johnson told the judge, "I have no respect for you as a judge." 

Before handing down her sentence, Judge Weber noted that several jurors cried during the testimony of this case. 

“We will never really know what happened in that condo on May 29, 2012. There is only one person alive who really knows what happened," Weber said. "One thing we do know for sure Mrs. Johnson. Is that the story you told the jury is not what happened.” 

During her trial, Johnson testified that her slain husband shot their daughter when the teenager stepped between them during a fight. She said she picked up the gun from the ground and fired, fearing he might shoot her next.

However, prosecutors said evidence shows the defendant and killed them both.

"I don't know if it's that she can't reconcile with herself that she's done this, that she doesn't want to believe that she's done this but the evidence spoke," Deputy District Attorney Nicole Rooney during Friday's hearing.

Jurors convicted Johnson of two counts of second-degree murder. Both charges involved using a semi-automatic firearm.

She remained in the apartment with their bodies for three days without calling the police.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Pedestrian Struck on I-8 in La Mesa]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:07:44 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/la+mesa+crash.PNG

A woman attempting to cross lanes of Interstate 8 in La Mesa Friday was struck by at least one vehicle, according to California Highway Patrol (CHP).

The pedestrian was hit by an oncoming vehicle near the Jackson Drive exit around 5:15 p.m. and was seriously injured, CHP said.

She was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries, Heartland Fire spokesperson Sonny Saghera said.

Aerial video showed crews blocking at least three lanes of westbound I-8 Friday evening, during commuting hours. 

The accident was initially reported as a multi-vehicle crash.

This is a developing story. Please refresh this page for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Gas Tax Repeal Fight Heats Up]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:58:56 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NC_Seg_2_Carl_DeMaio_061817_1200x675_969749059587.jpg

It is a tax that is almost impossible to avoid.

The new California gas tax has had a significant impact on San Diego gas prices since it went into effect on Nov. 1.

Taxes on regular gas went up 12 cents, taxes on diesel went up 20 cents and more fees start in January.

California drivers did not get a chance to vote on these taxes, but they may get a chance to get rid of them.

"This is highway robbery and the pun is intended," said former San Diego city councilman and current radio host Carl DeMaio.

He is helping lead the fight against California's new gas tax hike, a hike that not only increases taxes on every gallon of regular and diesel gas but also impacts vehicle fees and sales tax.

DeMaio says the gas tax increase went through the California assembly much too fast and will little debate.

"The public did not get a chance to vote yes or no," said DeMaio. "We did not get a chance to hold them accountable for the existing funding."

SB-1, the gas tax bill, was first discussed in committee in January 2017, it was passed by the assembly and signed by the Governor in April.

Now DeMaio is working with Reform California to roll back the gas tax.  The group plans to collect signatures and pay for an ad campaign with the goal of a statewide repeal vote on next year's November ballot. 

One of the argument from critics centers on how the current tax money is being spent.  State Senator Jim Nielsen claims gas tax money is going to things as diverse as lifeguard recruitment, credit card fees, and parkland.

"Instead of raising the gas tax, we need to demand that the existing gas taxes go to roads," said DeMaio.

Gas tax supporters point out that the new law includes money for oversight by Caltrans and a position of Inspector General appointed by the Governor. The new taxes are supposed to raise $5.2 billion every year and help fix a backlog of road projects.

The proposed amendment from Reform California would repeal the bill, require a public vote for any future gas tax increase and limit how the money can be spent.

<![CDATA[6-Week-Old Cheetah Cub Debuts at San Diego Zoo Safari Park]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 17:51:33 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San+Diego+Zoo+Safari+Cheetah+Cub.jpg

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park]]>
<![CDATA[Human Bones Found in Bonsall: SDSO]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:29:33 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San-Diego-Sheriff-generic-SDSO-041917.jpg

Homicide detectives say a human skull and at least one other bone were found along a riverbed in Bonsall.

An employee for a habitat management company called San Diego Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) around 12:30 p.m. to report they found a human skull and at least one other bone, an SDSO spokesperson said.

The location was near the Old Bonsall Bridge on State Route 76 and N. River Road, the official said.

The bones were removed from the area by the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office and will be examined by a forensic anthropologist. 

<![CDATA[Free Zoo Entry For Active Duty Military Forever]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 16:57:01 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DR_ZOO_1200x675_1098593347503.jpg

Thanks to a generous donation, the San Diego Zoo said they can guarantee that active duty military members will always get into the zoo and Safari Park in Escondido for free. 

<![CDATA[Donation Ensures Free Zoo Entry For Active Duty Military Forever]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 17:02:16 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ZOO_SAFARI_PARK_NEW_CHEETAH_CUB_1200x675_1098596419944.jpg

Thanks to a generous donation, the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park in Escondido will be able to admit active duty military members for free indefinitely. 

Philanthropists Jim and Dianne Bashor of La Jolla, donated an undisclosed amount of money to two military programs with the zoo. 

The Patriot Fund allows active duty military to get into the zoo and Safari Park free when they show their military ID.

While entrance into the zoo and Safari Park have always been free to active duty military, representatives with the zoo said the donation ensures they will be able to financially provide this service in the future. 

The Bashors also donated to the Global Wild Heroes Program. This allows free access into both parks for active military as well as veterans who have been wounded, and are part of the Naval Medical Center of San Diego. 

These veterans also receive free animal therapy with some of the zoo animals and families can get free child care and dinner at the zoo for date nights. 

The zoo named a bridge after the Bashors after the donation. 

Military members might enjoy seeing the newest addition to the San Diego Zoo, a baby hippo named Tony. At the Safari Park, there is a new cheetah cub that weighs only four pounds. 

<![CDATA[Kushner Failed to Disclose Contact From Putin Ally: Sources]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:57:10 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/kushner11-17.jpg

President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, failed to disclose what lawmakers called a "Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite" involving a banker who has been accused of links to Russian organized crime, three sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

An email chain described Aleksander Torshin, a former senator and deputy head of Russia's central bank who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as wanting Trump to attend an event on the sidelines of a National Rifle Association convention in Louisville, Kentucky, in May 2016, the sources said. The email also suggests Torshin was seeking to meet with a high-level Trump campaign official during the convention, and that he may have had a message for Trump from Putin, the sources said.

Trump Jr.'s lawyer and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Congressional committees and special counsel Robert Mueller are investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Photo Credit: Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Child Found in Encinitas Store Reunited With Parents]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 06:50:23 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Michael%27s+Encinitas.png

A toddler found wandering inside an Encinitas store Thursday was reunited with his parents, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said.

Employees called the sheriff's department after the 2-year-old boy was found just before noon inside the Michaels store on North El Camino Real. 

The boy told deputies his name was "Connor."

Announcements over the store's public address system and a search of the parking lot for the boy's parents proved unsuccessful. 

The ASTREA helicopter was also used to make announcements for the child's parents in the nearby areas, SDSO said. All attempts to find "Connor's" parents were unsuccessful.

Connor was taken into protective custody and released to the care of Child Welfare Services at the Polinksky Children's Center. He appears to be in good health, officials said.

He was reunited with his parents Thursday night. At this time, his parents are not considered to be suspects, SDSO said.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Rev. Jesse Jackson Reveals Parkinson's Diagnosis]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 16:09:07 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+JESSE+JACKSON+THUMB.jpg

NOTE: Read Jackson's full letter to supporters here

Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, he announced Friday. 

In an emotional letter to his supporters, the 76-year-old said his diagnosis came "after a battery of tests."

Jackson's father also suffered from the disease.

"For me, a Parkinson's diagnosis is not a stop sign but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression," he wrote.

Parkinson's disease is an uncurable neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can lead to tremors, slowed movement, rigid muscles, loss of movement and speech changes. 

Though he had not publicly announced it, Northwestern Medicine said Jackson was diagnosed with the disease in 2015. He has been treated as outpatient in the years since, the hospital said. 

Congressman Danny Davis said those who have been close to Jackson "have noticed some of the signs." 

Jackson is known for his work as a civil rights activist with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and as a Democratic presidential candidate in the 1980s. He founded Chicago's Rainbow PUSH coalition and has remained a prominent religious and political figure, continuing his outspoken activism recently following the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in Chicago. He also spoke out about police shootings nationwide, including in Ferguson, Missouri. 

"First, my thoughts and prayers are with the family," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Friday, "but I would note while Parkinson's may be a physical condition, it will never ever break Rev. Jackson's spiritual commitment to justice and his ability to help continue to be a voice for those whose voices are not heard."

Read Jackson's full statement below. 

Dear Friends and Supporters, 

On July 17, 1960, I was arrested, along with seven other college students, for advocating for the right to use a public library in my hometown of Greenville, S.C. I remember it like it was yesterday, for that day changed my life forever. From that experience, I lost my fear of being jailed for a righteous cause. I went on to meet Dr. King and dedicate my heart and soul to the fight for justice, equality, and equal access. In the tradition of the Apostle Paul, I have offered myself – my mind, body and soul – as a living sacrifice. 

Throughout my career of service, God has kept me in the embrace of his loving arms, and protected me and my family from dangers, seen and unseen. Now in the latter years of my life, at 76 years old, I find it increasingly difficult to perform routine tasks, and getting around is more of a challenge. My family and I began to notice changes about three years ago. For a while, I resisted interrupting my work to visit a doctor. But as my daily physical struggles intensified I could no longer ignore the symptoms, so I acquiesced. 

After a battery of tests, my physicians identified the issue as Parkinson’s disease, a disease that bested my father. 

Recognition of the effects of this disease on me has been painful, and I have been slow to grasp the gravity of it. For me, a Parkinson's diagnosis is not a stop sign but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression. 

I am far from alone. God continues to give me new opportunities to serve. This diagnosis is personal but it is more than that. It is an opportunity for me to use my voice to help in finding a cure for a disease that afflicts 7 to 10 million worldwide. Some 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s every year. 

I will continue to try to instill hope in the hopeless, expand our democracy to the disenfranchised and free innocent prisoners around the world. I'm also spending some time working on my memoir so I can share with others the lessons I have learned in my life of public service. I steadfastly affirm that I would rather wear out than rust out. 

I want to thank my family and friends who continue to care for me and support me. I will need your prayers and graceful understanding as I undertake this new challenge. As we continue in the struggle for human rights, remember that God will see us through, even in our midnight moments. 


Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.

<![CDATA[2 Children Die When Deputy Cruiser Strikes 5 Pedestrians in LA]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 08:27:31 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/LA-Deputy-crash_111717.jpg
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Photo Credit: NBC LA]]>
<![CDATA[Water Main Break at Mission Valley Apartment Complex]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:39:57 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/missionvalleyapt.gif

A water main break at an apartment complex in Misson Valley flooded cars early Friday.

The break occurred about 3:45 a.m. at the Del Rio Apartments at Rio San Diego Drive and Fenton Parkway. 

Crews have shut off the water while they make repairs. 

One apartment building with about 45 units is affected. 

The water flooded vehicles parked along Rio San Diego Drive. San Diego Police officers temporarily closed westbound lanes of the road.

At 2:30 p.m., Arian Collins, a spokesman for the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department, said there had been some delays in the repair work. Crews expected to have water service restored to residents by midnight.

No other information was available.

Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

<![CDATA[Trump to Pay His Own Legal Bills in Russian Probe]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:26:57 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/862049442-Trump-McConnell-Press.jpg

President Donald Trump has began paying for his own legal defense in connection with the FBI's investigation into the influence of Russian meddling in national elections, CNBC reported. 

The Republican National Committee and his campaign were paying for Trump's steep legal fees.

Bloomberg first reported the president would be paying his own legal bills Friday.

An interview with investigators could cost more than $30,000, according to the Bloomberg article.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Eater SD: New Crepe Shop Opens in East Village]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:07:35 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Eater-Cafe-Chloe-Crepes-HeartworkHill.jpg

Eater San Diego shares the top stories of the week from San Diego’s food and drink scene, including a peek inside a charming new East Village creperie and the scoop on a new cocktail bar and retail store headed for Westfield UTC.

Café Chloe Opens East Village Crepe Shop
From the team behind beloved bistro Café Chloe comes Minou, a new East Village eatery specializing in crepes. Available in sweet or savory, all the crepes are gluten-free. The all-day European-inspired creperie also offers coffee, beer and wine plus fresh pastries, baguette sandwiches, salads and homemade ice cream.

Cocktail Bar and Bar Supply Store Coming to Westfield UTC
CH Projects, the local hospitality group behind cocktail hotspots including Polite Provisions and Noble Experiment, will open a new bar and companion bar supply store at Westfield UTC. Called Raised By Wolves, the shop will stock a full array of spirits and barware, while the cocktail bar will host classes, pop-ups and events. 

Modern Diner Moving Into Ocean Beach
Royale, a former pop-up eatery, will settle into its permanent home next month. It will replace Sessions Public in Ocean Beach, bringing a full-service restaurant that will offer a variety of grass-fed beef burgers, sandwiches, salads and beverages ranging from craft cocktails to wine and beer on tap. 

Scottish Gastropub Gets Brewing in La Mesa
Downtown La Mesa will soon be home to Fourpenny House, a Scottish gastropub. Opening next month, the business will boast a full bar with its own house-brewed lineup of beer and cider. The menu, based on the owner's family recipes, will feature updated takes on Scottish fare including shortbread, mussels, corned beef and stout-marinated steak. 

Chef Steve Brown Launches Oceanfront Dinner Series
The chef behind Chula Vista's recently-opened Temp° is bringing his high-end Cosecha pop-up to Pacific Beach. Starting on Dec. 3, in collaboration with Ocean Park Inn, Steve Brown will be offering hotel and dining packages that include a beachfront room, a multi-course dinner with wine pairings and a Sunday brunch. 

Photo Credit: Heartwork Hill
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<![CDATA[Moore Scandal Ignites Fundraising Explosion for Opponent]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 13:52:37 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/jonesAP_17318718341273.jpg

The Roy Moore scandal has unleashed a torrent of online donations to Democrat Doug Jones, who was collecting around $250,000 per day in its immediate aftermath, according to two sources familiar with the matter who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity.

Democrats may end up in the unlikely situation of dramatically outspending the GOP in the Senate contest in deep red Alabama now that national Republicans have abandoned Moore. The Republican candidate's bank account had been depleted by a tough primary battle even before nine women came forward to accuse of him of sexual impropriety.

The scandal has super-charged Jones' already robust online fundraising to "Ossoff-level money," as one Democrat put it, referring to failed Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff, who amassed a staggering $30 million in a Georgia special election earlier this year.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['Words Matter': How You Can Support Adoptive Families]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 08:39:48 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/111717+adoptive+family.jpg

Do you have any real children? When did you rescue her? Can you tell me about your adoptive daughter?

Many adoptive families hear questions like these all the time. While the people who ask them often mean well, their words can be hurtful.

"Most of the time, people are not malicious, they're just curious. But there's a lot of power in the language that people use. Words matter, especially for children," said Lisa Dominguez, the director of clinical services at C.A.S.E., the Center for Adoption Support and Education.

Speaking ahead of National Adoption Day on Nov. 18, Dominguez advised people who want to support adoptive families to listen.

"Defer to them and follow their lead," she said. "Just like anything, if it's something you haven't experienced, it can be hard for you to know."

Don't give adoptive families unsolicited advice, either, she said. If a child has a history of abuse or neglect, the parents' techniques can be different from those of other parents. Don't judge, Dominguez said.

Here are a few questions and phrases Dominguez said can be uncomfortable for people touched by adoption:

"Real parent": Asking someone about their "real" parent, family or child can be hurtful. "There's no such thing as a 'real family' or a 'fake family.' There are just multiple kinds of families," Dominguez said.

"Adoptive child": Instead of asking someone about their "adoptive child," just ask about their child. Why make someone feel like a child they adopted is less important than one they had through birth?

"Rescuing" a child: Language like "rescue" is better suited for animals, not people.

"Gotcha Day": Many adoptive families celebrate the day a child was adopted, and some have begun calling it the child's "gotcha day." Dominguez said she respects other families' wishes but that she is personally not a fan of the term. "It feels somewhat casual. To me, it feels like a possession, as opposed to a child."

C.A.S.E., which is based in Burtonsville, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C., created a program called "W.I.S.E. Up!" that addresses how members of adoptive families can respond to insensitive comments. "W.I.S.E. Up!" is an acronym that says people who get rude questions about adoption can:

Walk away or ignore what is said or heard, [say]
'It's private and I don't have to answer' it,
Share something about my adoption story or
Educate others about adoption in general.

C.A.S.E. has taught the program throughout the United States and also in England, Scotland and Australia. It perhaps needs to be adapted for different cultural contexts.

"The British families think walking away is very rude," Dominguez said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Border Bust: 10 Bundles of Meth Taped to Teen’s Legs]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:30:25 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/BB-Meth-Teen-Bust-1115.jpg Images of smuggling attempts at their finest.

Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Stabbed Multiple Times After Argument On Social Media]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 08:03:04 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/217*120/shelltownsocial.jpg

An argument on social media led to a stabbing in Shelltown. 

According to San Diego Police (SDPD) the two women settled the argument in person.

They met at South 36th Street near National Avenue about 10:30 p.m. Thursday. 

Police said the two women got into a physical fight that ended with one woman stabbing the other woman several times.

A 21 year-old woman was taken to the hospital. 

Officers arrested 19 year-old Jaquela Jacquess.

No other information was available.

<![CDATA[Motorcyclist Killed In Barrett Junction ]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 15:29:24 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/216*120/barrettrescue.jpg

A motorcycle rider was killed after colliding with a sports utility vehicle in Barrett Junction Friday morning. 

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), a 51 year-old man was riding a Suzuki motorcycle on SR-94 when he crossed over the double lines and crashed into the front of a Jeep driving in the opposite direction, near Barrett Smith Road.

The crash occurred about 5:15 a .m.

The Jeep spun onto the shoulder of the roadway and caught on fire.

The 31 year-old driver of the Jeep told officers a vehicle drove over the motorcycle rider while he was lying on the ground, but said that driver did not stop and continued on the westbound SR-94. 

Firefighters with CAL FIRE rescued the motorcycle rider.

He was taken by air ambulance to Scripps Mercy Hospital, where he died. 

The CHP said an initial investigation revealed the collision with the Jeep caused the rider's fatal injuries.

There is currently no description of the vehicle that ran over the motorcyclist's legs, but anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the El Cajon CHP at (619) 401-2000.

<![CDATA[New Sharp Chula Vista Hospital to Open in 2 Years]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:51:28 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SVC-Topping-Off-1116.jpg

The final steel beam was placed Thursday on a tower that, in two years, will debut as the first new hospital to open in San Diego’s South Bay in more than 40 years.

Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center’s new hospital – a $244 million endeavor – will add 138 large, private patient rooms to the facility’s existing 343-bed hospital, as well as six operating rooms, including a hybrid procedure room. The hospital will be topped with a rooftop café.

Construction began last November under the helm of Hensel Phelps Construction, AVRP Skyport and SmithGroupJJR. Sharp said a total of 3,580 pieces of steel were used to create the framework for the hospital. A “topping out” ceremony celebrated the placement of the final beam as crews cheered for the milestone.

Sharp said its Chula Vista Medical Center located at 751 Medical Center Ct. is the largest health care provider in the South Bay. Sharp Chula Vista currently employs more than 2,000 staff and nearly 500 affiliated physicians, making it also one of the largest private employers in San Diego’s South County.

Photo Credit: Sharp Chula Vista]]>
<![CDATA[Police: Suspicious Fires at Local Restaurant Under Investigation]]> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:40:47 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/218*120/suratifarsanmart.PNG

San Diego police are investigating two suspicious fires in the back of a local restaurant. 

The fires happened this month at Surati Farsan Mart, an Indian restaurant off Black Mountain Road in Mira Mesa. 

Police said the first fire sparked November 8. Police believe someone set a pile of rags on fire behind the kitchen in a storage area. 

Employees said that the next fire happened Monday around 3:30 a.m. when no one was supposed to be in the building. 

According to one employee, the flames spread up a wall, jumping to the ceiling. Burn marks could be seen days later on some walls in the storage room behind a shelf. 

Both fires were put out by firefighters and no one was hurt. 

Police added they believe the fires were lit intentionally. They are unsure at this time if there is one suspect or multiple. 

Thursday, San Diego sheriff's deputies were at the mart investigating a separate civil dispute involving an employee. They said they had been investigating it for about a week and were not aware of the fires. 

The owner of the restaurant said he has surveillance video that he plans to hand over to the police. 

Police said the investigation is ongoing. 

<![CDATA[Doctor's License Suspended After OD in Hospital Bathroom]]> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 18:09:39 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/generic+doctor+coat.jpg

The Medical Board of California suspended the license of a doctor found unconscious on a bathroom floor at the UC San Diego Medical Center after he overdosed on a powerful sedative he stole from one of the hospital’s operating rooms, a court document details.

According to the Medical Board’s accusation, Dr. Bradley Hay, a board-certified anesthesiologist, had been abusing another controlled substance, Fentanyl, in the months leading up to that Jan. 27 incident.

The Medical Board’s accusation reveals that Hay was scheduled to perform anesthesia on two patients that day, but accidentally cut his hand and damaged a tendon before those surgeries. The accusation states, "despite the injury, (Hay) returned to his assigned surgical cases in order to steal medication for his own use."

According to the accusation, Hay stole four vials of Sufentanil, an opioid more powerful than Fentanyl and 500 times more powerful than morphine. After completing those surgeries, the Board’s investigators said Hay used a nearby bathroom to inject himself with the Sufentanil. The accusation states that a nurse later found Hay in the bathroom, unconscious and covered in vomit, his pants down around his ankles, with three syringes of the Sufentanil (two of them unused) near his body.

According to the Medical Board’s 12-page accusation, Hay had a "long documented history of alcohol and drug dependence." The Medical Board’s accusation said Hay started drinking at 14 and drank a 12-pack or more, three-to-five times a week during college and medical school.

He allegedly came to work intoxicated or hung-over multiple times during his anesthesia residency in 2002-2006 and also started stealing Fentanyl during that training program, the medical board accusation details. An online search of Hay’s background shows he completed his anesthesia training as a resident at the UC San Diego Medical Center.

According to the accusation, "(Hay) initially bought the Fentanyl home for his own use (during his residency), but then eventually began injecting himself with Fentanyl in the bathrooms at work."

The accusation notes despite that his history of abusing alcohol and controlled substances, Hay was offered a job at UC San Diego after he finished his training program there.

According to the Medical Board’s accusation, "due to stress and substance abuse issues, (Hay) took time off before beginning that job." According to the accusation, during his time off, Hay "drank approximately one liter of vodka each day."

Hay joined the UC San Diego Medical Center staff in 2007, where, according to the accusation, he was confronted the following year by hospital colleagues who saw him impaired while on duty.

It is unclear from the accusation whether anyone at UC San Diego Medical Center knew about Hay’s drug and alcohol abuse at that time. UC San Diego executives declined to answer specific questions submitted in writing by NBC 7 Investigates, including how and under what circumstances they hired Hay, how they supervised him, when they learned of his alleged drug and alcohol problems, and the details of any counseling, practice restrictions, or special supervision they imposed on Hay. A Medical Center spokesman would only confirm that "Dr. Hay no longer practices medicine here."

In a statement to NBC 7 Investigates, Hay’s lawyer, Steve Zeigen said Hay has been "clean and sober" for ten months, submits to weekly drug tests and is taking an opiate blocker to prevent relapse.

"He continues to steadfastly maintain a sober living regimen, using all the resources at his disposal to make sure this error never reoccurs," the attorney said. "He is deeply committed to his sobriety, his family, and his profession."

An expert in physician discipline told NBC 7 Investigates that Hay’s alleged drug and alcohol addictions put patients at extreme risk.

"Anesthesiologists are responsible for putting you under, keeping you alive, and bringing you back (to consciousness)," said Julie Fellmeth, a supervising attorney at the University of San Diego’s Center for Public Interest Law. "If that anesthesiologist has even one moment of impairment or distraction, that patient’s life is absolutely in danger."

According to the Medical Board’s accusation, UC San Diego "referred him for treatment" in 2008. The accusation states that Hay was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder and given medications for that mental illness.

The accusation states that Hay returned to UCSD later that year and stayed sober until 2014.

But the Medical Board alleges that in October 2015, Hay stopped seeing his psychiatrist and started self-prescribing medications, including Modafinil, a potentially addictive stimulant. In the accusation, investigators said Hay purchased prescription medication from India and started using Fentanyl again in April 2016, injecting himself up to eight times a day with that powerful opioid.

According to the accusation, Hay continued to work at UC San Diego during that period and checked himself into a treatment center in October 2016. The Medical Board said Hays did not inform his Medical Center supervisors about his relapse or treatment.

The Medical Board determined, according to the accusation, that despite that treatment, Hay started using Fentanyl again. Not long after resuming the illicit use of the addictive opiate, in January 2017, he allegedly stole the Sufentanil from the Medical Center’s surgical suite and overdosed in the hospital bathroom.

According to the accusation, Medical Center staffers told him to go to the hospital’s emergency room after he recovered from the overdose, but Hay instead left the campus and did not report to the ER. He then took a medical leave of absence from UC San Diego, and in February 2017, again enrolled in an addiction treatment center, where he received treatment until April.

Around that time, the Medical Board said it was alerted to the problem, and Hay voluntarily submitted to a mental health exam. According to the Board accusation, the psychiatrist who examined Hay concluded Hay suffers from "severe opioid use disorder" and was in "early remission."

The psychiatrist also determined that Hay’s "…ability to practice medicine safely is impaired by his opioid use disorder, and permitting (him) to engage in the unrestricted practice of medicine will endanger the public health, safety, and welfare."

There is no indication that Hay continued to practice medicine after his January 2017 overdose, but the Medical Board took the aggressive and unusual step of asking a state administrative law judge to immediately suspend Hay’s license, which the Judge did in September 2017.

According to the judge’s September 8 order, Hay, through his attorney, admitted he had violated provisions of the Medical Practice Act and was unable to practice medicine safely. Hay did not contest the Medical Board’s request for the interim suspension, but his lawyer told NBC 7 Investigates Hay will try to persuade the Medical Board not to revoke his license, and to allow him to resume treating patients.

Fellmeth disagrees. She said the Medical Board should revoke Hay’s license.

"He can petition for reinstatement after 5 years, and during that 5-year period, he should seek long-term and serious inpatient detoxification treatment. After that, he should submit to monitoring and constant drug testing. He should also seek psychiatric treatment, and the psychiatrist should be required to submit quarterly reports to MBC."

NBC 7 Investigates is reporting on medical professionals accused by the public and the California Medical Board of wrongdoing in order to bring information to the public and increase transparency of medical practices in the San Diego region. Currently, this information is reported by the Medical Board on its website.

Photo Credit: Stock Image]]>